Whose side are you on? Would you cane the child or would you rather give words of encouragement?
A few weeks back, a video of a father berating his son for failing almost all his papers caused divided opinions on social media. One side opined that the father should have flogged the living daylight out of him. The other side felt the father should have spoken to him calmly and tried to find out why he had failed but must never use the cane.
This brings us to the discussion: Should you cane a misbehaving child or not?
Spare the rod, mess up the child: Whose side are you on?
There are people who believe that the cane is the sole answer to any misbehavior or offence a child might commit. Did he get his sums wrong? Cane! Did he misspell a word? Cane! Did she spill water on the water? Koboko straight! Was she shouting in the typical manner of kids? Two sharp slaps straight! And on and on and on. Cane is the only answer for this set of people.
Then there are people who don’t believe in caning a child at all or any other form of discipline. If the child misbehaves like kids are wont to do, they give an explanation, “he is a child” or “she will outgrow it”. That becomes their mantra for every of the child’s misbehaviour.
Lastly, there are those who cane however on few occasions and those who do not cane at all but employ other forms of discipline like grounding the child and cutting off access to certain privileges.
Children can only be as sensible as they are taught. No child is born with a preinstalled manual in their brains that teach them everything they need to know about right and wrong. When a child does something wrong the first time, the first action should not be to grab the nearest available cane and slash it across their back or even give slaps or even start yelling. That is a very lazy form of parenting. Are you wondering how?
Okay, see, if a three year-old spills a big bowl of water on the floor, stay calm, look at him/her straight in the eye and tell them that it was wrong to spill water. Next, get a mop or a rag and show them how you clean the water off the floor. Then repeat what you said about how they shouldn’t take the big bowl of water again by themselves but ask you to help them with it.
See? That actually took some work. But you have passed a message to that child without hurting him/her.
The purpose of correcting the child is so they can learn from their mistakes and do better. But in a case where you have no choice but to use the cane, make sure that after the child has stopped crying, take time to explain why the beating was necessary. Also, make the child promise you that such act won’t repeat itself. Then hug them so they know you don’t hate them.
What method do you or would you adopt in the discipline of your child?